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3: Trade Wars, Sanctions and Discrimination

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

Trade Wars, Sanctions and

Discrimination

3

3.1  Introduction

When the British Raj in India was attacked by local tribesmen in 1897, within hours ‘astute financiers were considering in what degree their action had affected the ratio between silver and gold’ (Churchill, 1964). Observing this, Churchill marvelled at the ‘sensitiveness of modern civilization, which thrills and quivers in every part of this vast and complex system at the slightest touch’. Since that time the world has become a much smaller place, with financial ripples in even a remote corner having an almost immediate effect on world markets. The intricate nature of the world’s financial markets has opened the door to modern warfare being conducted in the stock exchanges rather than on the battlefield. Animal products, seen as essential commodities by the most developed nations at least, are often central to the sporadic warfare that has pervaded the world since the guns of the last major conflicts of the 20th century fell silent.

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Part 5. Consciousness, Sentience, and Cognition: A Potpourri of Current Research on Flies, Fish, and Other Animals

Marc Bekoff New World Library ePub

A Potpourri of Current Research on Flies, Fish, and Other Animals

THIS IS AN INCREDIBLY EXCITING TIME to study the behavior of other animals. It seems like every day we’re learning more and more about the fascinating lives of other animals — how smart and clever they are and how they’re able to solve problems we never imagined they could. Here I consider a wide range of research on animals that shows clearly just how well-developed and amazing are their cognitive skills. A very few people continue to ignore what we really know about other animals, but they are in the vast minority. Here you can read about flies, bees, lizards, fish, a back-scratching dog, how climate change is influencing behavior, and why respected scientists are pondering the spiritual lives of animals.

However, before getting into this wonderful research on animal minds and consciousness, I start this part with an essay that tackles one of the main and enduring criticisms of such research and of my work in particular: anthropomorphism, or the attribution of human characteristics to non-human animals, objects, or events (such as when people talk about “nasty thunderstorms.” The charge of anthropomorphism is often used to bash ideas that other animals are emotional beings. Skeptics claim that dogs, for example, are merely acting “as if” they’re happy or sad, but they really aren’t; they might be feeling something we don’t know or feeling nothing at all. Skeptics propose, because we can’t know with absolute certainty the thoughts of another being, we should take the stance that we can’t know anything or even that consciousness in other animals doesn’t exist. For Psychology Today and elsewhere, I have written extensively about the “problem” of “being anthropomorphic.” For instance, see “Anthropomorphic Double-Talk” in my book The Emotional Lives of Animals (see Endnotes, page 335). In my opinion, there’s no way to avoid anthropomorphism. Even those who eschew anthropomorphism must make their arguments using anthropomorphic terms, and they often do so in self-serving ways. If a scientist says an animal is “happy,” no one questions it, but if the animal is described as sad or suffering, then charges of anthropomorphism are leveled. Scientists can accept and treat their own companion animals as if they feel love, affection, gratitude, and pain, and then deny these very emotions in the animals they use, and abuse, while conducting experiments in the lab.

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7: Disease Transmission and Biodiversity Loss Through the Trade in Farm Animals

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

Disease Transmission and

Biodiversity Loss Through the

Trade in Farm Animals

7

7.1  Introduction

As well as the risks to the environment and to human health from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) discussed in Chapter 4, there are significant risks to humans and other animals from transmission of infectious diseases, as well as major risk to biodiversity of farm animals as a result of trade.

About 60% of pathogens that cause human disease are of animal origin, and the proportion of emerging infectious diseases that are of animal origin is even higher, 75% (OIE, 2013). Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), avian influenza, Nipah virus, West Nile virus, Rift valley fever, brucellosis and echinococcosis are just a few examples of zoonoses that have had severe impacts on human health.

At the 81st General Session of the Assembly of World Organisation for Animal

Health (OIE) delegates in Paris in 2013, Princess Haya of Jordan, Goodwill

Ambassador to the OIE, said in her opening address:

As a population, we need to be able to harness the products of the land and sea, but we need to be able to trade these products too. In doing so, we must ensure that we are protected from the ravages of disease in both the human and animal populations.

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Part 2. Against Speciesism: Why All Individuals Are Unique and Special

Marc Bekoff New World Library ePub

Why All Individuals Are Unique and Special

ANIMALS COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES. Biologists try to organize and make sense of this variety by classifying animals as members of different phyla, classes, orders, families, genera, species, and subspecies. In this way, scientists create our “family tree,” which shows how the various types of animals are related and where they diverge. Often scientists use words like “simple” and “complex,” or “higher” and “lower,” to characterize different species based on particular traits, such as the complexity of the nervous system or the size of the brain relative to the size of the body. Within biological classification systems, these words are useful. However, they are also often translated into qualitative judgments: “higher” becomes “better” or “more valuable”; “lower” becomes “lesser” or “easily discarded.” In the essays in this part, I argue that this usage is misleading, incorrect, and inappropriate. It is “speciesism,” which serves little purpose except to justify the killing or bad treatment of certain classes of animals that humans find either useful or inconvenient. We should not use species membership to make decisions about how an animal can be treated, or more pointedly, what level of mistreatment is permissible. Rather, we should approach each animal as an individual with unique characteristics and an inherent value equal to all other beings. Individual animals do what they need to do to be card-carrying members of their respective species. Within their species, this has the most value, and no individual is “better” or “more valuable” than the rest. Just as all species count, all individuals count, and all beings are unique and special in their own ways.

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Part 10. Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why: Redecorating Nature, Peaceful Coexistence, and Compassionate Conservation

Marc Bekoff New World Library ePub

Redecorating Nature, Peaceful Coexistence, and Compassionate Conservation

WHILE I WAS ATTENDING A MEETING in Oxford, England, in September 2010 about the growing field called “compassionate conservation,” I came to realize that the basic question with which many of my colleagues and I are concerned is “Who lives, who dies, and why?” As humans, we can do just about anything we choose to do, and along with this incredible power comes incredible responsibilities to do the best we can for other animals and their homes. Power does not mean license to do whatever we like because it suits us just fine. I live in the mountains outside of Boulder, Colorado, and I am fortunate to have many nonhuman neighbors, including cougars, black bears, red foxes, coyotes, and a wide variety of small mammals, birds, lizards, insects, and snakes. I choose to live where I do, and I must do all I can to coexist in peace and harmony with these wonderful animals. As you’ll read below, I’ve had some close and dangerous encounters of the lion kind and have had to change my ways so that my nonhuman neighbors and I can all live together. If I choose to, I can move, but my animal friends can’t just pick up and move because their living rooms aren’t mobile.

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Part 7. Wild Justice and Moral Intelligence: Don’t Blame Other Animals for Our Destructive Ways

Marc Bekoff New World Library ePub

Don’t Blame Other Animals for Our Destructive Ways

IT IS CLEAR THAT OTHER ANIMALS are conscious and emotional beings. But are they moral? Do they know right from wrong? This is a hot area of research, and comparative studies are showing that indeed they are and they do. In fact, we’re learning that all animals, including humans, are far nicer and more cooperative than we previously imagined. One thing this means is that we shouldn’t blame nonhuman animals for our destructive ways. As this part points out, nonhuman animals have been observed intentionally harming one another, but on balance humans clearly do much more intentional harm to their own species than other animals ever do to their own. Further, we also can learn a lot about compassion, empathy, and morality from observing other species. But finally, new research shows that across cultures humans are really much nicer than we ever give them credit for. It’s a relative few who wage wars, kill people, and harm children. Most people in the world are nice, kind, and generous, just like their nonhuman cousins.

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6: Trade in Live Farm Animals

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

Trade in Live Farm Animals

6

6.1  Introduction

Trade in live farm animals spans a wide range of cultures and societies, from a local level to the big bilateral export trades that exist around the world. The local trade has a long history. Livestock have been used as dowry for thousands of years, and are still used in Africa and by primitive tribes in Asia (Anon., 2010). However, the live animal trade usually refers to live export and import, i.e. animals that are traded across national borders, but many livestock are also traded within a country, particularly if it is large, such as the USA, Australia or Brazil. Nowadays, with intensification of the livestock industries, the availability of fast transport and growing demand for animals and their products in many parts of the world, the live animal trade is rapidly increasing.

Demand for trade in live food animals is principally dependent on the size of the human population, their demand for animal products and the feasibility of them being traded alive, rather than as a processed product. The trade most obviously follows a migration of animals from the southern to the northern hemisphere, with regions such as Australia/New Zealand, southern Africa and South

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9: Trade in Wildlife and Exotic Species

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

Trade in Wildlife and Exotic

Species

9

9.1  Introduction

Wildlife animals have been traded for millennia, probably even before the

­domestication of animal species for the production of food and clothing. Yet despite the development of a small number of domesticated species to provide for most of our needs, we have continued to harvest and trade in wildlife and exotic species. Exotic species are those that are not indigenous to the region, which usually precludes the domestic livestock species. These are kept by zoos, for the entertainment of the public and increasingly for conservation and for scientific purposes. Their use for entertainment in circuses is diminishing as public recognition of associated cruel practices in training and transport between venues has increased, creating public pressure for legislative control. They are also kept by a growing number of members of the public for display and a variety of other reasons that will be outlined later. Wildlife animals are harvested for food as well and may be traded with other regions because their exotic and novel nature encourages people to try eating them. The biggest harvest of wild animals, indeed the biggest of any food animals, is that of fish from the oceans. However, many other animals are harvested from the oceans and our scant knowledge of populations in the past has led to many manmade catastrophes, with populations decimated because of high demand for the products and mechanized harvesting of ever ­increasing efficiency.

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1: The History of Animal Trade

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

The History of Animal Trade

1

1.1  Introduction

Our ancestors existed as hunter gatherers, and before that as anthropoid apes. The hunter gatherers had varied diets, which gave them security as a population against climatic extremes that favoured certain plant and animal types (Milton, 2000). The costs and risks of procuring meat and animal products were high and many were primarily gatherers. However, meat, once it was obtained, was a concentrated source of energy and protein, the most important nutrients that they required for survival. Not only did hunter gatherers in different parts of the world have quite varied diets, depending on availability, they were also free to migrate to utilize different fauna and flora sources, depending on the season and weather patterns.

Settled agriculture, adopted over a period of just a few thousand years beginning about 10,000 years ago, offered the opportunity for higher yields from plants and animals that were farmed in small areas. However, the static nature of this activity and the enhanced resource requirements of this form of food production, in the form of a regular water supply and a nutrient-rich soil, increased exposure to climatic and seasonal extremes. The inevitable variation in productivity could only be absorbed into a successful existence if humans cooperated with neighbouring groups, so that food surpluses in one region were transported to others where the need was greater. Thus our cognitive skills in organizing this trade, coupled with our highly social behaviour, combined to make plant and animal raising a viable alternative to hunter gathering when societies cooperated by trading in surplus goods.

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10: The Future of Animal Trade

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

The Future of Animal Trade

10

10.1  Introduction

The past has seen some dramatic changes in world trade in animals. This chapter considers what will shape the future of the animal trade and what changes in the trade are likely. Continuation of current trends does not seem to be an option. Worldwide meat and milk production have been growing, as outlined in

Chapters 4 and 5, respectively. Even taking into account increasing population, meat availability per capita has been increasing steadily over the last 50 years to approximately double what it was at the beginning of the 1960s; milk availability per capita has increased by about 20% over the last 10 years (Fig. 10.1). The increasing livestock production requires prodigious quantities of feed grain and there is still potential for meat consumption to increase in many developing regions of the world, e.g. sub-Saharan Africa. The steadily increasing trajectory for meat availability per capita has been consistent over the last 50 years (Fig. 10.1), and it will therefore take extreme measures if this is to be changed.

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Part 6. The Emotional Lives of Animals: The Ever-Expanding Circle of Sentience Includes Depressed Bees and Empathic Chickens

Marc Bekoff New World Library ePub

The Ever-Expanding Circle of Sentience Includes Depressed Bees and Empathic Chickens

ANIMALS HAVE rich and deep emotional lives. We’ve known this for a long time, and solid scientific research is supporting our intuitions. The different species of animals that fall into the emotional area, the circle of sentience, is constantly expanding, and we’re learning more and more about the incredible diversity of emotions they experience, ranging from joy and happiness to empathy and compassion to grief and despair. Emotions serve as social glue and are the reasons we’re so attracted to other animals. It’s also why they are drawn to us. Our own emotions are the gifts of our ancestors. How lucky we are to have inherited our own passionate lives from these awe-inspiring beings.

One surprising member of the expanding circle of sentience is the honeybee, who, it turns out, isn’t always a happy worker, collecting pollen and making honey with legendary industriousness. Bees can become just as depressed on the job as people. Bees also use their right antenna to tell friend from foe. Please read on.

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Part 9. Who We Eat Is a Moral Question

Marc Bekoff New World Library ePub

HUMANS PAY VERY CLOSE ATTENTION to the food they choose to eat. I call this a “moral question” because the animals who wind up in our mouth are sentient beings who quite often suffered enormously on the way to our stomach — either on factory farms and in slaughterhouses where they see, hear, and smell others get slaughtered, or when they’re writhing on the deck of a boat or a dock after they’ve been pulled from their watery homes. Animals aren’t objects. When I give lectures and very gently remind people that they’re eating formerly sentient beings, it often gets very quiet because we’re so accustomed to asking “What’s for dinner?” not “Who’s for dinner?” After these discussions I’ve had people tell me they’ll never eat animals again. I fully realize that our meal plans raise many difficult questions that we wish would just go away, but they won’t, and each of us needs to be responsible for the choices we make. It’s easy to show in a compassionate and gentle way how a vegetarian or vegan diet can work for just about everybody.

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Part 8. The Lives of Captive Creatures: Why Are They Even There?

Marc Bekoff New World Library ePub

Why Are They Even There?

BILLIONS OF ANIMALS are kept in various captive situations, ranging from laboratories to zoos and aquariums, from circuses and rodeos to our own homes. We keep animals for a variety of reasons: in the name of science, in the name of entertainment, in the name of food (see part 9), or because they’re our companions. However, the lives of captive animals are often compromised. They may suffer from confinement, the lack of exercise, from being kept alone without friends, and from being mistreated (or deliberately “broken,” as happens in circuses, so they do what’s needed to entertain us). Here I’m primarily concerned with wild and domestic animals who are kept for purposes of entertaining humans. Today, there is increasing scrutiny of zoos and their purpose. Particularly in light of the uneven levels of animal care, the untimely deaths of zoo animals, and even the occasional death of their human caretakers, we must ask what zoos are really good for. I hope that this sample of essays shows that captive animals deserve much better treatment than they receive and that this should lead us to question why we hold them captive in the first place.

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Part 4. Why Dogs Hump: Or, What We Can Learn from Our Special Friends

Marc Bekoff New World Library ePub

WE OFTEN HEAR that the companion animals with whom we share our lives have unqualified trust in us, that they believe we will always have their best interests in mind, and that they love us unconditionally and would do anything for us. And, indeed, they often do take care of us in a seemingly selfless manner.

But dogs and other animals don’t love everyone unconditionally. They can be very selective. From time to time it’s a good idea to revisit, if only briefly, some common beliefs we have about relationships between ourselves and other animals. I’ve been asked on many occasions about trust among animals, and this essay puts some of my thoughts on the table for discussion.

What does it mean to say our companions trust us? The notion of trust is difficult to discuss because it’s very broad and has many different sides. Trusting another is related to intention. What did a person (or other animal) intend to do, and were their actions in the best interest of another being? It’s possible to have the best of intentions and to do something that harms another being. This doesn’t mean that the individual who erred shouldn’t ever be trusted again.

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8: Trade in Horses, Cats and Dogs

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

Trade in Horses, Cats and

Dogs

8

8.1  Introduction

Horses, cats and dogs share a common usage as companion animals but they can also variously be used as racing animals (horses and dogs), for meat production

(horses mostly, sometimes dogs and very occasionally cats), milk production (horses) and fur production (cats and dogs). Because these animals supply specialist markets, not mainstream like cattle and chickens, trade is often local. The trade is often not regulated as well as the livestock trade, frequently covert and sometimes illegal.

8.2  Horses

Horse trading has a long history, with evidence of activity in central Asia around

1000 bce (Wagner et al., 2011). The close relation between owner and horse makes the transaction very reliant on the owner’s report of the characteristics of the horse. The potential for deceit in this activity has given the term ‘horse trading’ special meaning in relation to business deals.

According to the World Horse Organization (WHO, 2015), there are now approximately 58 million horses worldwide, with 16% in the USA, 13% in China,

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